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The Hillary Clinton Paradox

On the matter of Hillary Clinton’s candidacy I find myself holding opposite and irreconcilable views: “That can’t possibly work,” and “She’s inevitable.”

Her candidacy can’t work because of the deep, daily cascade of scandals that would disqualify anyone else. State Department emails on private …

Hillary Clinton

The Boehner-Obama Intel Gap

The Senate failed early Saturday morning to reauthorize or limit major antiterror surveillance programs, leaving only a week before their legal authorities go dark—while Congress vacations. This security stalemate is reckless even for Washington, and in this case the White House and House …

National Security Agency

The GOP’s fuzzy Mideast plan - The Washington Post

Critics of the way President Obama is dealing with the Islamic State should be required to specify what alternative steps they would take — and how their strategies would make a difference.

Republican presidential candidates are unanimous in charging that Obama’s handling of Iraq and Syria has been …

Middle East

The rhetoric of economic mobility in the United States - The Washington Post

For both parties, the emerging theme of economic mobility is often a reluctant, second choice.

Deep down, many Democrats would prefer to focus on economic inequality. But while Americans have theoretical concerns about the income gap, they are consistently skeptical about government’s role as …

Equality

The national security threat that Republicans are ignoring - The Washington Post

When it comes to the 2016 Republican presidential primary, the candidates have found two big, fertile policy arenas in which to stake out territory: climate change and national security.

Specifically, presidential hopefuls are scrambling to show who is most aggressive on national security and who is …

Security

The U.S.’s big intelligence problem - The Washington Post

The unexpected fall of Ramadi to the Islamic State this month is the latest sign of a basic intelligence problem: The United States doesn’t know enough about its jihadist adversaries to combat them effectively.

This intelligence deficit afflicts the military, the CIA and other agencies. The problem …

Intelligence

Iraq exists only as an idea, not a nation - The Washington Post

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter did misspeak last week with remarks that caused a firestorm in both Washington and Baghdad. He explained the Islamic State’s takeover of Ramadi by saying Iraqi forces “showed no will to fight.” He just forgot to complete the sentence by adding the words, “for …

Middle East

The U.S. must do more to help Iraq fight the Islamic State - The Washington Post

THE OBAMA administration has responded to the recent gains by the Islamic State in Iraq with several remedial measures, including accelerating a shipment of antitank weapons to Iraqi forces and pledging to push harder for the delivery of arms to Sunni tribes. But some senior administrative …

Middle East

Let Patriot Act Provisions Expire

Barring a last-minute compromise, congressional authorization for the program the government uses to sweep up Americans’ phone records in bulk will lapse on Sunday. That would be perfectly fine.

The looming expiration of a handful of provisions of the Patriot Act, which gave federal authorities vast …

Surveillance

Jimmy Shaw Reflects on Classes and Friends

THE LID: Rick Santorum Deja Vu (All Over Again)

Welcome to the Lid, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos...Rick Santorum's daughters told him not to wear a sweater vest during his second presidential run...but they didn't say anything about a fedora...

Get The Lid straight to your inbox each afternoon -- click here to sign up.

'16 AT 30 …

Rick Santorum

A chance for presidential candidates to pick their budget plan - The Washington Post

It’s far too early in the campaign season to bemoan the absence of serious policy proposals from the presidential candidates — but not too soon to set out some parameters of what those proposals, whatever the candidate’s ideology, should be expected to address.

Issues of character and judgment …

Public Finance

The decline of Rand Paul - The Washington Post

Rand Paul took a left turn on his journey to the Republican nomination, and now his hopes seem to be headed south.

The libertarian Kentucky senator’s new book, “Taking a Stand,” came out Tuesday, and it is chock-full of lines that would position Paul well — if he were running against Hillary Clinton …

Republican Party

A State Department policy overwhelmed by puffery - The Washington Post

Secretaries of state have had private contacts since the job was created, so it’s a mistake to get too indignant about Hillary Clinton’s e-mail exchanges about Libya with her longtime friend Sidney Blumenthal. Still, these messages offer some useful insights about the court politics of Washington …

Washington State

The Senate must find a solution on phone data collection - The Washington Post

ON THE contentious issue of bulk phone metadata collection by the National Security Agency, the big story is remarkably positive. Two years after Edward Snowden revealed the program and charged that it exceeds the agency’s lawful authority under Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act, a bipartisan …

National Security Agency

It's Amazing Anything Ever Gets Built

America’s business and labor leaders agree: President Obama and Congress can do more to modernize the permitting process for infrastructure projects—airports, factories, power plants and pipelines—which at the moment is burdensome, slow and inconsistent.

Gaining approval to build a new bridge or …

U.S. Presidency

On Same-Sex Marriage, Catholics Are Leading the Way

Take a look at this list of countries: Belgium, Canada, Spain, Argentina, Portugal, Brazil, France, Uruguay, Luxembourg and Ireland. Name two things that they have in common.

They don’t share a continent, obviously. Or a language.

But in all of them, the Roman Catholic Church has more adherents, at …

Marriage

Iran’s Secret Trial of a Journalist

Ten months after his unjustified detention, Jason Rezaian, The Washington Post’s reporter in Iran, had his first day in court on Tuesday. Like every other aspect of his case, the opening hearing of the trial was shrouded in secrecy.

His mother, Mary Rezaian, who traveled to Tehran to attend the …

Middle East

Who's Going to 'Pop'? The Presidential Field Gets Bigger

First Read's Morning Clips

OFF TO THE RACES: Santorum's big day

Stu Rothenberg offers his solutions to the GOP's debate problem.

Remember that controversial marriage pledge from the Family Leader in 2012? The group's leader says there are no plans right now to ask candidates to sign it in 2016, per the Des Moines …

Bernie Sanders

First Read: The Romney-fication of Bill and Hillary Clinton

How the Clintons are getting turned into Mitt Romney

By itself, making money shouldn't be an issue for Bill and Hillary Clinton; after all, so many of our past presidents have been wealthy. By itself, Bill Clinton having a shell LLC wouldn't be an issue either. But when you add the two together, you …

Elections

What is 'The Freshman Year Experience?' Ten Students Share Their Stories

Ten high school seniors, ten web cams, one major life change. NBC News presents "The Freshman Year Experience," an ongoing series about heading off to college, told by the students themselves.

Freshman

Families Are Saving Less For College, Investing Poorly

A majority of Americans believe college is an investment in their child's future, but it's one they're not adequately preparing for.

Only 48 percent of parents are saving for their child's education, down from 51 percent last year, according to Sallie Mae's new "How America Saves for College 2015" …

College & University

The Freshman Year Experience: Meet the Students

Picking a college. Navigating financial aid packages. Meeting roommates. Surviving finals. For the next eight months, NBC News will follow 10 students from across the country as they transition from high school seniors to college freshmen. Each student will document their journey through …

Freshman

Meet Tyra Searcy From Florissant, Missouri

Tyra is a senior at McCluer North High School and will be vlogging as she makes her decision about what school to attend this fall for NBCNews.com.

Missouri

Selecting Your College: Facing The Life-Changing Decision

High school senior Erica tries to decide which college will be the right fit for the next chapter of her life.

College & University

Don't Catch Senioritis! It Could Cost You Your College Acceptance

The college application process is over, graduation is approaching and spring is in full bloom, making conditions ripe for a highly contagious phenomenon among high schoolers: "senioritis."

Also nicknamed a "senior slump," senioritis is when students get a bad case of slacking off at the end of …

College & University

Alex Bender Shares His Plans For Next Year

Bender

Alex Wright Shares His Plans For Next Year

Darian Stevenson Shares Her Plans For Next Year

Darian Stevenson shares her plans to attend Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and how finances impacted her decision.

Southern Illinois